June 13, 2024
How Matt Gay’s move from soccer to football brought him to the NFL – and back to the Colts

Matt Homosexual was a legit youth soccer prospect – legit ample on a national stage to be the initially Utah indigenous invited to U.S. Soccer’s residency method in Florida. And he proved himself to be just one of the greater established piece-takers in that incubator, which incorporated long run US Men’s Nationwide Crew and LAFC cost-free kick ace Kellyn Acosta.

So Homosexual often envisioned a profession as a expert soccer player. Homosexual led Utah Valley University with 7 targets as a freshman in 2014, but immediately after returning from his LDS mission in Houston in 2015, he didn’t really feel like his upcoming in soccer was participating in out the way he hoped.

Right after the 2016 period, Homosexual resolved to pivot. He traded soccer for American soccer.

But it was not an impromptu switch. He didn’t make it so he continue on as a collegiate athlete – he could’ve just retained playing soccer. As an alternative, Homosexual transferred his supreme soccer objective to football.

“If I’m going to do this, if I’m going to try and go kick,” Gay said, “I’m likely to do this to go to the NFL.”

Homosexual attended a expert camp at the College of Utah in the summer of 2017 and amazed Utes coaches, but they did not have an speedy roster location for him. He was informed to sit restricted and wait around for one particular to open up throughout drop camp. When one did, Homosexual walked on and entered a level of competition with three other kickers, 1 of whom experienced the edge of currently being on scholarship.

Sooner or later, it arrived down to Homosexual and the freshman kicker on scholarship. The child with the scholarship – Chayden Johnston – in the long run received out and received the to start with prospect to kick for Utah in the 2017 normal season.

But when Johnston missed his initially area objective attempt – a 45-yarder that went large remaining – a mentor observed Homosexual on the sideline and explained to him: You happen to be up.

Homosexual was taken a again a little bit – he failed to explain to his family to arrive to the recreation, considering the fact that he was at the rear of Johnston on the depth chart – but took a moment, said a prayer and went out to kick a football in its place of a soccer ball in a video game for the very first time as a school athlete.

“That’s variety of in which the method begun,” Gay said.

Gay built two PATs, then a 33-yarder, then yet another PAT, then a 32-yarder, then a 49-yarder and just one closing PAT in his collegiate debut (he had so quite a few alternatives thanks to an offense driven by current Colts teammate and managing again Zack Moss). He did not overlook any of his kicks.

Homosexual went on to make 30 of 34 field objectives, such as an FBS-foremost 5 from 50 or a lot more yards, in 2017. At a single place throughout the season, Utah’s punter – Mitch Wishnowsky, now of the San Francisco 49ers – told Homosexual he was in the jogging for the Lou Groza Award.

“What is the Lou Groza Award?” Homosexual requested.

Wishnowsky spelled out: It can be the award given each year to higher education football’s best kicker. A few months afterwards, Gay gained it he was named a consensus All-American and led the country with 30 manufactured subject objectives.

What Homosexual did in 2017 – transitioning from soccer to football and getting named higher education football’s leading kicker – is exceptional. You do not just see a soccer player determine to turn into a football kicker and thrive the way Gay did. Even Harry Kane would have a tricky time replicating Gay’s rapid good results.

“I was like, holy cow, I could win this matter and ended up profitable it,” Homosexual stated. “And soon after that calendar year I was like, okay, this is what I want to do and set out to do is go to the NFL, but I bought a shot below. I can basically do this.”